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Activity 1 - Labels good and bad


To consider the impact of labels.

Curriculum area(s)

  • Year 5 upwards
    • Tutor group
    • English
    • Drama
    • PHSE
    • Psychology
    • Sociology

Suitable for adults with learning disabilities?


Learning outcome(s)

Students become more aware of how labels can impact on a person's feelings about themselves.

Time required

20 minutes



  1. List some of the words used to describe Doris, Jason and Mabel in their hospital notes and Robin in the film.
  2. Choose 2 positive words that you would use to describe yourself e.g. someone who is kind, clever, happy, a good friend, a reader, a good footballer.
  3. Make cards with all these words on – good (positive) words on one colour card, negative words on the other colour. Mix them together. Put them face down and ask each student in turn to pick one of each colour and give them to their neighbour. Everyone reads out their labels. In pairs, discuss how good or bad labels make us feel. Share with the full group after 10 minutes.

Ideas for follow up

Students in pairs. Write or draw what you like about the other person on a card. Stick it on their back so they can’t see it. Students walk around the room looking at everyone’s label. Only then can the labeled person see what was said about them. How did this make you feel? How can you spread the positive feelings in your life?

Next activity

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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